Nelson Wang (born 1950) is an Indian restaurateur of Chinese descent and the founder of a restaurant in Mumbai's Kemps Corner neighbourhood. Various sources credit him with the invention of the popular Indian/Chinese dish "Chicken Manchurian".
Wang was born in Kolkata. He is the son of a Chinese immigrant. However, within a few days of his birth, his father died, and he was sent to live with a foster family by his mother. His foster father was a chef, to whom Wang attributes his own love of cooking.
Wang came to Mumbai in 1974, with just ₹27 in his pocket. His first job there was in a small restaurant in Colaba. He also worked a variety of other odd jobs, including being a limbo dancer, at which he claims to be skilled. According to Wang himself, he was a cook at the Cricket Club of India, when in 1975, a customer asked him to create a new dish, different from what was available on the menu. He started by taking the basic ingredients of an Indian dish, namely chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilis; but next, instead of adding garam masala, he put in soy sauce instead, followed by cornstarch and the chicken itself; the result was Chicken Manchurian.
Wang branched out from his job at the CCI in 1983 to start his own restaurant. His restaurant gained popularity, and won various awards proclaiming it "India's best restaurant". He and his son Eddie would go on to open several restaurants in various parts of India, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Goa. The restaurant encountered trouble in 1999, when a court ordered him to close it for violating Coastal Regulation Zone rules about building floor area, in a case that took more than fourteen years. A Rediff columnist criticised the ruling as making "no sense". He reopened the restaurant at the Crossroads Mall in August 2000.
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